Indiana, often called the Hoosier State, is the birthplace of the first gasoline pump and some of the greatest classic American car companies, like Stutz. Despite its rich history in the automotive industry, accidents happen on Indiana roads every day. So, what do you do if someone crashes into your vehicle? How can you get money damages for it? Read on to learn about the Indiana car accident settlement process and timeline.
Do I Need to Report a Car Accident in Indiana?
Yes, in some cases. If the accident results in injury or death of a person, you are required by law to give notice by the quickest means of communication to the local police department, the office county sheriff, or 911.
Indiana Car Insurance Laws
Indiana applies the at-fault rules when it comes to car accident and insurance coverage. Under the at-fault system, the person who is at fault is liable for all losses and damages, and it gives the injured person more options to recover damages. The injured person has three options: (1) make a claim with your own insurance company, (2) make a claim with the other driver's insurance company, or (3) file a lawsuit against the driver who is at fault.
Indiana requires every driver to carry a liability insurance to legally operate a vehicle. The minimum coverage required by Indiana law is as follows:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury for multiple people per accident
- $10,000 for property damage per accident
- $50,000 in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
This minimum coverage might not adequately cover all of the expenses in the event of car accident. Drivers can purchase additional coverage for more protection.
How Do Car Accident Settlements Work in Indiana?
Indiana applies the "modified comparative negligence" rule, which allows you to recover money damages only if you are less than 51 percent at fault. Therefore, if you believe that you are not more at fault than the other driver, you should file a claim either with your own insurance company or with the other driver's insurance company. A claims adjuster will gather information and determine fault in the accident. Then the insurance company will either deny your claim or offer you a settlement to cover your damages. If you think the insurance company wrongfully denied your claim or offered you an unfair settlement, you can file a complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance.
Although most car accident cases are resolved through insurance companies or during settlement negotiations between the parties, some cases require you to go to court to get properly compensated. In Indiana, civil claims can be heard at a superior court or a circuit court near you.
What Is the Average Car Accident Settlement in Indiana?
In general, there is no set equation to calculate the amount of damages for personal injury. Indiana allows you to recover both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are tangible losses like medical bills, lost wages due to missed work, and car repair costs. Noneconomic damages are losses that are hard to calculate, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium. The common types of accident damages are vehicle repairs, hospital bills, medication co-pays, physical therapy costs, lost income, and pain and suffering.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Indiana?
You have two years to file a lawsuit for both personal injury and property damage. However, if you are suing the state of Indiana, you have 270 days to file a lawsuit. And if you are suing a city or county in Indiana, you have 180 days to file a lawsuit. For all of these deadlines, the time starts to run on the date of the accident. Once the time is over, court will most likely deny your claim.
Talk to a Local Lawyer About the Indiana Car Accident Settlement Process
It's true that most car accident cases don't go all the way to the trial phase. However, the settlement process can get complicated if the accident resulted in serious injuries or if the insurance company is acting unreasonably. You should be aware of your rights in order to ensure you receive all of the money damages you deserve. It's tough to make calculations, but an experienced attorney in Indiana can guide you through your settlement process. Contact an experienced car accident attorney in your area to learn about your legal rights today.